“I’m just excited that we played good defensively,” Reed coach Ray Charles said. “We held them to one run in that inning and kept the game within reach. I just feel like the kids are gaining confidence. It’s another good win for us. Carson played really well. They made a lot of plays. It was just a good high school game.”
The Raiders got off to a quick start, making Carson pay for a number of costly mistakes. Senior Ryan Butler moved to second base on a fielder’s choice after a dropped third strike allowed him to reach base safely. A wild pitch then advanced Butler to 90 feet from home, setting up Chuck Stroberg for an RBI single and an early 1-0 Reed advantage.
With junior Mark Nowaczewski on the mound for the Blue and Gold, the lone run would hold for Reed. Unfortunately for those in Raider Nation, the visiting bats fell silent after the opening run.
Still down by a single run in the bottom of the sixth inning, the Senators finally broke through and got to Nowaczewski, pushing a run across the plate to tie the game at 1-1. Neither team was able to generate scoring in the seventh inning, sending the game into extras.
The extra-inning affair did not last long as the Raiders prevented a marathon by plating two runners in the top of the eighth, again taking full advantage of Carson blunders.
An error on a grounder allowed senior Tanner Paris to reach first. Paris then progressed to second on a sacrifice bunt from Butler, giving Beau Tittensor the opportunity to send Paris home with the go-ahead run on a single into right field. Now holding a 2-1 lead, a wild pitch and an infield single from A.J. Silva placed runners on the corners for the Raiders. Stepping to the dish, Stroberg again delivered, this time in the form of a sacrifice fly for a 3-1 Reed lead.
Still on the bump, Nowaczewski relinquished the game to fellow senior Jake Means after giving up a leadoff single in the bottom half of the eighth frame. Means immediately destroyed any thoughts of a comeback from the Senators as a line drive to shortstop was caught and quickly turned into a double play at first. A strikeout sealed the victory for the Raiders.
Nowaczewski went seven innings for the win, striking out eight while walking three and hitting two batters. The Raiders managed seven hits in the contest.
“Mark pitched outstanding,” Charles said. “He just pitched really well. He gave us a good pitching performance and gave us a chance to win from the mound today.”
Reed (11-9, 6-7 Northern 4A) will have a rematch with Carson (7-6 Northern 4A) on Thursday at home with first pitch set for 3:45 p.m.
“I expect another good game,” Charles said. “We’re just trying to get better and trying to gather some momentum. We want to keep getting ourselves wins so we can sneak into the playoffs. That’s kind of what we’re trying to do and taking it game by game. Hopefully we get enough wins to sneak in there.”